The U.S. Department of Justice will monitor elections in Hillsborough County today

The agency will also take complaints through its call center about possible violations of federal voting-rights laws.

click to enlarge The U.S. Department of Justice will monitor elections in Hillsborough County today
Photo by Dave Decker

The U.S. Department of Justice will monitor elections in 44 jurisdictions, including six Florida counties, on Tuesday, the federal agency announced Monday.

The effort --- which includes Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties --- will be similar to previous election monitoring actions by the department’s Civil Rights Division, the announcement said.

The agency will also take complaints through its call center about possible violations of federal voting-rights laws. The Civil Rights Division enforces laws that prohibit voter intimidation and voter suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion.

“Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. The work of the Civil Rights Division around each federal general election is a continuation of its historical mission to ensure that all of our citizens can freely exercise this most fundamental American right,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, said in a prepared statement.

The announcement came as partisan tensions continued to escalate in the run-up to Election Day. Recent polls show Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a toss-up in Florida --- where Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by a little more than one percentage point in 2016 --- and a number of other key battleground states.

As of Monday morning, about 9 million of the state’s 14.44 million registered voters had already cast ballots through mail-in voting or at early voting sites.

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